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HEALTH

The regions in Sweden with high age limits for blood donors – and those with no limit at all

The older you are, the less likely you are to be accepted as a blood donor in Sweden – depending on where in the country you live.

The regions in Sweden with high age limits for blood donors – and those with no limit at all
File photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

The age at which you will be accepted as a blood donor depends on where in Sweden you live.

Blood is a natural resource and when stores begin to get low, centres appeal to the public to donate.

But if you are too old, you may not be welcome – the maximum age for giving blood varies considerably between various parts of the country, a survey by TV4 Nyheterna has shown.

For foreign residents, it is also worth keeping in mind that recent travel abroad and being able to speak Swedish may affect whether you are able to give blood.

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From the age of 65, an annual doctors’ approval is required before you give blood, but regional authorities can also set their own rules.

In Jämtland, the age limit is set at 60 years, while Dalarna, Blekinge, Örebro, Södermanland, Stockholm, Kronoberg and Gotland have no upper age limits.

The WHO states on its website that most people aged between 18 and 65 can give blood if they are in good health, but that “in some countries, regular donors over the age of 65 may be accepted at the discretion of the responsible physician. The upper age limit in some countries is 60”.

“The regions are self-governing (on this issue), so each one decides to do what’s best for that region,” consultant doctor Maria Held of the Halland Region health authority told TV4.

“(In Halland), we have chosen an age limit of 70 years because we have good access to blood and good donor recruitment. We hope that people over 70 years old will find other ways to contribute to society,” Held said.

Blood stocks can dwindle during holiday seasons as well as at weekends. Red blood cells can be stored at refrigerated temperatures for a maximum of 42 days, while platelets must be used within 5-7 days.

The maximum ages for blood donation across Sweden’s regions are as follows:

  • 60 years: Jämtland
  • 65 years: Jönköping
  • 70 years: Halland, Östergötland, Västernorrland, Kalmar
  • 75 years: Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Skåne
  • 80 years: Gävleborg, Uppsala, Västmanland, Värmland
  • No upper limit: Dalarna, Blekinge, Örebro, Södermanland, Stockholm, Kronoberg and Gotland.
  • In the West Götaland region, age limits are set by individual blood centres and range from 65 years to no limit at all.

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HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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